As part of an ongoing series throughout the fall, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame posts This Week in College Football History, which takes a look back at some of college football’s landmark moments over the last 146 years. RoadTripSports and College Football America is proud to present this year’s release in its entirety, courtesy of the National Football Foundation.
Oct. 26, 1985
UTEP def. No. 7 BYU, 23-16
El Paso, Texas
Only the 14th win for the Miners in an 11-year span, UTEP upset defending national champion BYU, putting an end to the Cougars’ 25-game conference winning streak. In an attempt to stop College Football Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards’ BYU offense that was averaging 507 yards and 32 points per game, UTEP head coach Bill Yung went with an unusual 2-9 alignment. The strange formation worked, holding BYU quarterback Robbie Bosco to 151 passing yards and forcing four interceptions. Defensive back Danny Taylor took one of those interceptions back 100 yards to put the Miners up 17-10. Freshman tailback John Harvey racked up 102 yards on the ground and quarterback Sammy Garza threw for 146 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown to Clarence Seay, to help lead UTEP to the victory. The stunner over BYU would be the only victory of the year for the Miners, who would finish 1-10. The WAC co-champion Cougars finished No. 16 in the final AP Poll with an 11-3 record and a loss to Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl.
OTHER NOTABLE MOMENTS
Oct. 20, 1956
No. 14 Texas A&M def. No. 4 TCU, 7-6
College Station, Texas
The Aggies and Horned Frogs battled it out in 90 mph winds in a game now known in Texas as “The Hurricane Game.” After a scoreless first half, TCU managed to take a 6-0 lead in the third quarter with a one-handed touchdown grab by O’Day Williams. The Horned Frogs dominated the fourth quarter until Aggie Don Watson intercepted what would have been a TCU touchdown pass. College Football Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant’s Aggies drove 80 yards, capped off by Hall of Fame halfback John David Crow’s eight-yard touchdown reception that tied the game. Kicker Loyd Taylor’s extra-point was good, securing an A&M win with nine minutes remaining. Texas A&M would finish the season an undefeated 9-0-1 and the No.5 ranking in the AP Poll. TCU would finish 14th with an 8-3 record after defeating Syracuse in the Cotton Bowl.
Oct. 21, 1995
Utah def. Air Force, 22-21
Salt Lake City, Utah
A last minute rally vaulted Utah to a win over College Football Hall of Fame coach Fisher DeBerry and Air Force in this matchup of WAC foes. Quarterback Beau Morgan had rushed for 119 yards and thrown two touchdowns to give the Falcons a 21-7 lead going into the final minute of the game before the Utes’ impressive comeback. Utah quarterback Mike Fouts connected with receiver Rocky Henry for a 17-yard touchdown with 41 seconds remaining, reducing Air Force’s lead to 21-15 after a successful two-point conversion. Utah had no choice but to go for an on-side kick, which was successfully recovered by Ute defensive back Artis Jackson. With the clock against him, Fouts lofted a 50-yard touchdown to Kevin Dyson who ran untouched into the end zone. Kicker Dan Pulsipher’s ensuing extra-point sealed Utah’s improbable win. Utah and Air Force finished the season in a four-way tie with BYU and Colorado State for the WAC title. The Utes would go 7-4, while the Falcons would finish 8-5 and earn a trip to the Copper Bowl.
Oct. 22, 1960
No. 2 Mississippi def. No. 14 Arkansas, 10-7
Little Rock, Ark.
After a questionable call in the final seconds by referee Tommy Bell, the 1960 game stands as one of the most controversial games in the Ole Miss-Arkansas annals. The underdog Hogs, led by Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles, took the lead in the second quarter on a three-yard jump pass from George McKinney to Jim Gaston, but the Rebels’ Hall of Fame quarterback Jake Gibbs responded with a 57-yard scoring strike. Gibbs led Hall of Fame coach Johnny Vaught’s Rebels down the field in the final seconds, and positioned them in the middle of the field to set up Allen Green for the winning field goal. Green nailed the first kick, but whistles were blown because officials ruled players couldn’t hear signals. Green’s second kick appeared to be wide left, but it was called good by Bell. The Razorbacks team also featured Hall of Famer Wayne Harris. No. 6 Arkansas finished off an 8-3 season with a loss to Duke in the Cotton Bowl and a Southwest Conference title. A 6-6 tie against LSU was the only blemish for the SEC champion and No. 2 Rebels, who finished 10-0-1 and defeated Rice in the Sugar Bowl.
Oct. 23, 1999
No. 16 Wisconsin def. No. 13 Michigan State, 40-10
College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez won his 67th game to become the winningest coach in Wisconsin history as his Badgers overpowered Michigan State and the top run defense in the nation. The Spartans had allowed just 279 rushing yards in their first seven games combined, but Wisconsin gained 301 yards on the ground, led by Hall of Famer Ron Dayne with 214. Dayne scored twice in the first half to build a 23-3 lead for the Badgers. Meanwhile, the Spartans were held to 238 yards of total offense, with their only points coming on a 55-yard field goal by Paul Edinger and a 53-yard touchdown run by T.J. Duckett. Wisconsin would finish the season fourth in the final AP poll with a 10-2 record after a victory over Stanford in the Rose Bowl, while Dayne would go on to win the 1999 Heisman Trophy. In Nick Saban’s last season at Michigan State, his Spartans finished seventh in the AP poll with a 10-2 record after beating Florida in the Citrus Bowl.
Oct. 24, 1953
Pennsylvania def. No. 10 Navy, 9-6
Coming off a 65-7 rout of Princeton, undefeated Navy was hoping for another easy win against Penn. The Quakers had shunned the typical Ivy League schedule for what university president Harold Stassen called a “Victory with Honor” schedule, which included games against California, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State. Quakers defensive tackle Jack Shanafelt recorded an interception in the second quarter and caused a fumble in the third that led to a touchdown run by fullback Joe Varaitis. The Midshipmen responded later in the quarter when defensive end John Hopkins returned an interception 47 yards for a game-tying touchdown. College Football Hall of Fame coach George Munger’s Quakers had outgained Navy 229-150 yards but needed a last-minute 35-yard field goal by Ed Gramigna to complete the upset. Because of its tough schedule, Pennsylvania finished the season 3-5-1, while Navy would go 4-3-2.
Oct. 25, 1997
Missouri def. No. 12 Oklahoma State, 51-50 (OT)
The No. 12 Cowboys had won their first six games in 1997 before having their bubbles burst by Missouri. The Tigers took a 30-7 lead early in the third quarter after 1998 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Corby Jones threw for three touchdowns and ran 23 yards for another. The Cowboys responded by holding Missouri to just 29 yards on its next five series and came back with four unanswered touchdowns to take a 37-30 lead. With only 18 seconds remaining in regulation, Jones found wide receiver Ricky Ross for a 38-yard touchdown to send the game into overtime. The teams traded touchdowns in the first two OTs, but the Cowboys decided to go for the two-point conversion after quarterback Tony Lindsay’s touchdown run. Lindsay had to scramble and was taken down short of the goal line, clinching the upset for the Tigers. Missouri and Oklahoma State finished the season No. 23 and No. 24, respectively, in the final AP poll. The Tigers finished 7-5 after a trip to the Holiday Bowl, while the Cowboys went 8-4 after a trip to the Alamo Bowl.